Mountainside catcher Ferris Guenther applies tag on Springfield runner trapped in rundown.
By Sean Reilly
Christian Basile had visited Diamond Nation before, but until Saturday, never as a player.
That changed when his Mountainside Huskies team came to Flemington to compete at the 10U August Showdown.
That was exciting enough, but he was anticipating the trip for another reason – he was looking forward to better results at the plate after a hitless tournament last week at another site.
It was a great day for Basile on all levels – he went 3-for-3 with a walk in a 16-3 opening win over the RVC Tigers, and followed by going 1-for-2 with a walk and pitching three scoreless innings as the Huskies beat the Springfield (Pa.) Outlaws, 10-2, to secure the top seed for the 10U August Showdown playoffs on Sunday.
“I was in a little bit of a slump, but that first hit got me out of it,” Basile said. “Pitching, I was staying calm and trying to throw strikes. It’s nice playing here, it’s a really nice complex and it feels really good to play well.”
By virtue of his performance in the opener, he was presented the team’s gold chain that goes to each game’s MVP. When the chain is passed along to the recipient in the next game, that man is “knighted” by the player yielding the chain.
Following the win over Springfield, Basile had the honor of forwarding the chain over to Nico DiIusto, who went 3-for-3 in that victory. DiIusto had also gone 2-for-3 in the first game, which was emblematic of the strong top-to-bottom day for the Huskies.
“Our hitting was big today,” DiIusto said. “It felt really good to be able to help my team out.”
In the game against Springfield, Basile pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first. And in the bottom of the inning, he was part of a five-run uprising for his team.
Chase Keenan (2-for-4) led off that inning with a single to shortstop. Scott Krempecke followed with a first-pitch RBI triple to left center.
After a line out to third base, Tino Guidicipietro reached on an error that scored Krempecke. After Guidicipietro advanced two bases on wild pitches, he scored on Basile’s single to center on a full count.
A walk to Ferris Guenther and a single by DiIusto loaded the bases for Will Sandholm, who came through with a one-run single to right field. Ryder Blass added an RBI groundout to second base for the 5-0 lead.
Mountainside runner Scott Krempecke is safe at third ahead of throw from first base.
Springfield, which finished the day 0-2, had runners on second and third with two out in the second inning, but Basile got the next batter to strike out looking on a full count pitch.
The Huskies added four more runs in third to expand the lead to 9-0.
After the first batter flew out to left field, DiIusto singled to center. Sandholm also singled to center, before the next batter was retired on an infield fly to first base. Keenan then dropped down a bunt single to load the bases.
Krempecke was up next, and he hit a two-run double to left field. Benny Pasuco followed by getting hit by a pitch which reloaded the bases. Guidicipietro was up next, and hit a two-run single to right field.
Springfield scored its first run in the top of the fourth. Tyler Bloch led off with a triple to left-center, and he scored on Nicky Brown’s sacrifice fly to center field.
The Outlaws closed to 9-2 in the fifth, when Caden Chambers walked, advanced two bases on passed balls and scored on a single by William Toland, who ended 1-for-1 with two walks.
The game ended via the mercy rule in the bottom of the inning. Krempecke walked and advanced on a wild pitch before continuing non-stop to third. He then scored on a wild pitch for the clinching eight-run margin.